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Food-4-Thought with Queen of Waka Waka

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is a talented songwriter, dancer and singer who was born on February 2, 1977, in Barranquilla, Colombia to a Lebanese father and Colombian mother. When she was 4 years old, she went to a Middle Eastern restaurant where she heard an Arabian themed music which is often accompanied by belly dancing. Instinctively, she got on the table and started dancing before a thrilled audience. She wrote her first song at the age of 8 and signed her first record deal at 13. Shakira is known to be very proud of her roots. Little wonder, her best hits of all time “Whenever, Wherever,” “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka” portray a strong fusion of her Latino and Arabic heritage.

The Waka Waka Queen in action

Just like many other celebrities, she had her fair share of rejection on her path to self-discovery and stardom. In a Wikipedia article, Shakira described how she discovered her passion for live performance. “I enjoyed singing for schoolmates and teachers (and even the nuns) at my Catholic school. However, in second grade, I was rejected for the school choir because my vibrato was too strong. The music teacher told me that I sounded like a goat." At school, she was often sent out of the class because of her hyperactivity (ADHD). She says she had also been known as "the belly dancer girl," as she would demonstrate every Friday at school a number she had learned.

Sharika is a proud mother of two who gives back to society through The Barefoot (Pies Descalzos) Foundation which builds schools and provides psychological assistance and nutrition to over 4,000 under-served children in Columbia. The Barefoot Foundation adopts a model which targets displaced and vulnerable communities by addressing their unique needs. It ensures that every Colombian child can exercise his or her right to a quality education.

In addition to being a recipient of numerous Grammy awards, Shakira is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, an actress (Gazelle in Zootopia) and a businesswoman with her own beauty line.

Shakira has impacted many through her music and life. One of her most inspiring quotes remain “I believe that every single one of us, celebrity or not has a responsibility to get involved in trying to make a difference in the world. Our generation faces many challenges, some of which were passed down to us by past generations, but it’s up to us to find solutions to day so that we don’t keep passing our problems on’’

As you enjoy the long weekend, please reflect on Shakira’s quotes and be inspired to impact someone around you.

Happy belated birthday to Shakira – Queen of Waka Waka!

These outfits inspired the theme of this article’s - Bold, Courageous and Determined. Take a peep...

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